How to drive a new car before it gets its first service?

Oct 18, 2021 2 min read
How to drive a new car before it gets its first service?

Run-in time for a new car ranges from 1000 to 2500 kilometers, depending on engine size. So, what should you remember before taking your new car in for its first service?

Driving a new car excites most people throughout the run-in period, which can be the first 1000 or 2000 kilometers. Because of the excitement, car owners should pay closer attention to extend the life of their car's engine.

Safety precautions while driving new car during the run-in period

Be gentle to the throttle

During a run-in, you should try to avoid putting undue stress on the engine. To ensure a smooth drive, keep your engine revs low. The recommended rev range is between 2500 and 3000 RPM for petrol cars until the first service or 1000 kilometers. During the run-in time, you can progressively boost the revs up to 3000–3500 RPM.

When driving a diesel, the RPM range should be between 2000 and 2500 until the car gets 1500 kilometers. The rpm can then be gradually increased up to 3000 to complete the run-in time.

Always use a gentle foot on the throttle and prevent excessive revving to save fuel and extend the engine's life. It's usually a good idea to start your car and let it warm up before you go out on your journey.

Try to complete the run-in period before first service

Several manufacturers recommend a general checkup after a run-in period of 1000 km. In most cars, the run-in period lasts for one month, so make sure you drive all of those kilometers to get the engine revving easily after that (whether it's 1000 or 2000/2500 depending on what you need).

Drive at a variety of speeds and under varied circumstances

Most new car owners drive during the run-in period just for essential commuting, resulting in most of the time stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Lower gears will put your car's engine under unnecessary stress if you do this. You should also drive in higher ratios by going for long weekend drives in your car, and avoid using higher gears when driving at a slower speed.

Do not drive at too high a speed

At greater speeds, your car's chances of experiencing excessive throttle stress or rapid brake application increase, putting additional stress on both the engine and the brakes. During the run-in period, try not to drive faster than 80 km/h because the car is fully under control and the engine's rpm is also limited to 2000 rpm.

Don't skip the first service

The first service is often limited to general checkups, with any minor or serious concerns addressed. Car owners tend to skip the first service because it doesn't require any major repairs or top-ups. But it is a mistake because doing so could void your warranty.

No to synthetic oil

Do not use synthetic oil throughout the run-in period of the car, regardless of whether you intend to use it long-term or not. You will see slower run-in times with synthetic oil because of its superior lubricating properties. The best option is to use regular crude oil or an oil grade recommended by the manufacturer. After the second service or around 5000 kilometers, you can switch to synthetic oils.

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